Monday, December 3, 2012

Lentil Soup

Here's a first: a recipe post.  I imagine this won't happen again unless we do some more crazy experimental recipe creation and it turns out well.

1 lb lentils (I had brown ones but red would be tastier)
1 quart broth (we used beef but veggie would be good too)
2 c apple cider (if you can, I'd say make that 1.5 apple cider and half a cup apple cider vinegar)
2 c water
2 yellow apples, cubed
1 onion, diced
6-8 cloves garlic, diced
1 c dry textured soy protein, rehydrated according to directions (TVP from Bob's Red Mill is what I used)
1 c pasta, uncooked
Bacon, to taste (or use bacos so more soy)
Cheese or sour cream to garnish

I'd add if making for spice-tolerant folks, and if I'd had these around:
4 oz (or a little can) tomato paste
1 baking potato, cubed
1 stalk celery, diced (with leafy part in spice bag)
1 carrot, diced
2 bay leaves (in a little bag to remove when cooked)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin

Rinse and sort lentils (remove rocks).  Boil 1 cup water and pour over soy protein in medium bowl, set aside for 10 minutes after stirring in some seasonings of your preference (I added a dash of onion and garlic powders, and that 1 cup water is from the package, your mileage may vary).  Add ingredients to large pot, excluding soy protein, bacon, and pasta.  Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer.  Add soy protein.  Cover.  Cook for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally and ensuring there's still liquid on top (add more if needed).  Check to see lentils are tender and adjust seasoning.  Add dry pasta and increase heat slightly.  Boil for 3 minutes less than time directed by pasta (I picked elbows that normally cook 7 minutes, so I cooked them 4).  Cut heat and let stand uncovered for 5 minutes, then serve with bacon and dairy garnishes (optional).  Great with some nice warm bread or even in bread bowls.  I picked cojack cheese plus some salt to go with my bacon.

This was a remarkably sweet lentil soup, so the savory bacon went really well with it, but if you added the tomato paste and vinegar it would be awesome without it too.  Next time I'll probably add the juice of a lime or a lemon to cut the sweet.

Feeds the two soup-eating adults for about a week, so about 12 servings.

Nom nom nom nom soup weather.

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